And did you know – well, perhaps not – when
you were hewn by impersonal machine
from the rest of you, that your breaking
would bind kin from something closer
than blood or circumstance?
And did you know, as you were pressed into my luggage
with those whispered prayers all mothers memorise, that families
both born into and found would gather around food
flavoured at your touch?
And did you know – well, perhaps you did – that the work
of tempering seeds, turning onions in oil, tucking kidney beans
into garlicked tomato, would magic you into conduit
to home?
I know how much you have given by the scorchmarks
perched elegantly on your handle – infatuations with pots 
left too long – and the bloom of turmeric scarring
your widest, gentlest parts, the myriad spices squeezed
into the smallest spaces between your veins.
Old friend, found cousin, measure of trust, tonight
we stir a clan out of strangers.


Arielle Cottingham reads 'Ode to a Wooden Spoon'